Emiliano Martinez Says He Saved Argentina For Messi

Emiliano Martinez Says He Saved Argentina For Messi

Argentina goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez has revealed that he saved two penalty kicks in the 2024 Copa America quarter-finals because of Lionel Messi.

In the quarter-final match at the NRG Stadium in the United States on Friday, July 5, Lautaro Martínez scored an early goal in the 35th minute, further solidifying his leading position as the 2024 Copa America top scorer with 5 goals.

Following the opener, Argentina aimed to capitalize on their lead but were unable to do so, ending the first half with a narrow advantage. In a dramatic turn of events late in the second half, Ecuador executed a stunning comeback with Kevin Rodríguez netting the equalizer in the 90+1st minute.

The game went into penalties in which Ecuador were gifted an advantage after Lionel Messi, the Argentine football legend, missed the opening spot-kick. However, Emi Martinez, the goalkeeper for Aston Villa, stepped up and rescued the Argentine team by saving crucial spot-kicks from Angel Mena and Alan Minda, allowing Argentina to emerge victorious with a 4-2 shootout win.

Martinez’s stellar performance showcased his expertise as a penalty specialist, having saved an impressive total of 12 penalties out of the 24 he has faced in his career.

According to AlbicelesteTalk, Emiliano Martinez stressed that he is indebted to Lionel Messi, especially after helping the country to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The Brazilian goalkeeper said: “I owed it to Leo Messi, I owed it to him.

“He saved us in the [2022 FIFA] World Cup, he won it, he was the best of all in the World Cup, and when things didn’t go his way… he was coming off a very strong injury in his adductor, and I felt like I had to help him when he missed the penalty.”

Argentina will face Canada in the 2024 Copa America Semi-final at 1 a.m. on Wednesday, July 10, 2024.